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Lacson calls Miriam hypocrite, crusading crook

Now it's Senator Panfilo Lacson against Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. "Sen. Miriam Santiago is what we may call a crusading crook." She pretends to be clean when she is not," Lacson told reporters in a text message on Wednesday. "A hypocrite par excellence, she doesn't have a single shred of integrity in her veins and moral ascendancy over any mortal on earth. Ask the people who have fallen victims to her verbal threats and assaults and they will tell you how much they shelled out," he added. Lacson made the statement after Santiago in an interview aired over ANC on Wednesday morning alluded to him as "one of [Senate President Juan Ponce] Enrile's  attack dogs." The feisty senator said the "attack dog" of Enrile is not a lawyer but is pretending to be one and even keeps on calling on her to shut up. “He does not even have a clue about the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies.  He was involved in a court case, and he turned tail and became a fugitive from justice, which is criminal behavior. That is what you get when a layman filled with hubris pretends to be a lawyer.  Pilit nakikisawsaw,” Santiago said in the interview. Also, she said that this person cannot tell her to keep silent. “If that senator wants to participate in the conspiracy of silence, he can, but he should respect my freedom of expression and the public’s right to know under the Constitution.  If a dog barks at midnight, the homeowner should go out and search for the intruder, instead of beating the dog,” she said. Lacson, however, said that Santiago should do some "soul searching and self-reflection." "She should also stop blaming God for all her hurt feelings," he said. Santiago has lately been criticizing Enrile for only giving additional operating expenses to selected senators. “Enrile does not even have the guts to face me at a public televised debate.  Instead, he has been hiding behind the tails of his attack dogs.  He has definitely gone off the deep end by attacking me on a personal basis. He has resorted to arguments based on personalities (argumentum ad hominem) which is not allowed in any debate,” she said. Santiago has already written the Commission on Audit asking for an audit of the Senate funds. On Wednesday, she said she may also file a petition before the Supreme Court questioning the authority of heads of office to use savings at their absolute discretion. “I am required by law to observe the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies.  This means that first I have to go to the COA, and request for a study and report on the issue of constitutionality.  If the COA opinion differs from mine, only then will I be allowed to file a court case.  If not, the court will dismiss my petition,” she said in a statement. — LBG, GMA News